From Bloomberg:

Russia’s longest recession in two decades is proving a test too far for the labor market.

After deflecting pressure in 2015 with salary reductions, part-time work and unpaid vacations, companies are increasingly opting to cut jobs as the economy enters its second year of contraction. As Russia’s biggest companies from carmaker AvtoVAZ to nuclear plant operator Rosenergoatom plan job cuts, Labor Minister Maxim Topilin predicts unemployment reaching the highest since 2013 by mid-year.

With employers already hunkering down after oil’s collapse and the crash in the ruble to record lows last month, the prolonged downturn is giving way to adjustments in the labor market that are further squeezing household finances. As expectations fade for a quick turnaround after the biggest drop in consumption under President Vladimir Putin, the challenge for authorities is how to contain discontent without further straining the budget before parliamentary elections later this year.

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